Easy Ido/Lesson five

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Compound words

  • You can create compound words by combining two (or more) words. Like so: maro-salo for sea salt. The preceding word changes the meaning of the following. Just like in English, the first word describes the second one, so salo-maro would be a salt sea instead of sea salt. The hyphen between the words is not necessary: marosalo would also be correct, but it can be easier to read with the hyphens. The way you would do it in English, maro salo is, however, not correct. If you have two nouns and it is easier to pronounce, you can take the -o off the first one, so mar-salo would be correct as well. You don't want to make a word that's impossible to say though, so you would say letro-buxo instead of letr-buxo for postbox.

Smaller particles

  • Use di to show who owns or belongs to something. libro di John is "John's book".
  • Use de to show where something is from. libro de John means "John's book" (the book you got from John).
  • Use da to show what something is by. libro da John means "a book by John", (John wrote the book).
  • Use pri to show what something is about. libro pri John means "a book about John", (John is the subject of the book).
  • Use a or ad for the English word "to" when talking about direction. De Francia a Rusia - "From France to Russia", il parolis ad el - "he spoke to her".
  • Use per to show what you are using to do something. Li voyajas per aviono - "They travel by aeroplane".
  • Use kun to show that one thing is in company with something else. El iris kun sua spozo - "She went with her husband (spouse)".
  • Use ek for the word "out", as in made out of something. shuo facita ek ledro - "a shoe made out of leather".
  • Use en for the word "in". en mea chambro - "in my room".
  • Use aden (to + in) to mean "into". aden mea chambro - "into my room".
  • Use sur to mean "on". Pozez ol sur la lito - "Place it on the bed".
  • Use adsur to mean "up onto". la kato saltis adsur la tablo - "the cat jumped up onto the table".
  • Use alonge in the same way you use English "along". Irez alonge la rivero - "Go along the river".

Word order

  • You will have no problems following English word order when you write in Ido, but you can change things around a bit.
  • As said before, adjectives can go before or after a noun, like in French.
  • Adverbs go anywhere as long as the meaning is clear.
  • The subject goes before the object, but you can put the subject after if you want by putting an -n on the object. Me manjas pano - "I eat bread", but: Men manjas pano - "(A) bread eats me". Of course you could just change the order and say Pano manjas me.


  • Ask yes or no questions by using ka or kad before a sentence. Vu iris a la urbo - "You went to the city". Ka vu iris a la urbo? - "Did you go to the city?" (NOTE: The choice between ka and kad is only about euphony. Just choose the one you think sounds better in each particular case).
  • You don't change the word order when asking a question like in English.
  • Other words: kande (when), quale (how), ube (where), quo (what), qua (who).

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